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Old Posted Oct 14, 2021, 8:18 PM
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electricron electricron is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Granbury, Texas
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
The government decisions that are to blame are the subsidization of suburban development and automobile infrastructure which allowed private autos to out compete passenger railways.
When passenger railroads and interurbans were the fastest way to travel from point A to point B in a city, they could compete with everything else. But as streets and highways were paved, and as automobiles and buses got more powerful and faster, the railroads, interurbans, and streetcars could no longer compete.
Sure, paving streets and highways was a government subsidy in favor of automobiles and buses, but do you really believe cities and states were never going to pave them? How many bike and jogging pathways in cities today remain dirt and gravel paths vs paved?
And while cities were paving the streets, they were also burying other utilities at the same time under or upright alongside them. So more was being done for the betterment of society besides just paving the streets.

Even in Europe where public transportation is far better than in the USA, they paved also their streets and highways and built autobahns between cities. There is probably more miles of dirt and gravel roads in
North America than there is remaining in Europe. Per
"Currently, 66.3 percent of all roads and streets in the U.S. are paved, compared with about 27 percent in 1953. Total road and street mileage has increased approximately 22.6 percent since 1953."
Wiki article of interest.
Take some time to look at that chart in the Wiki articles, and note how many EU countries have 100% paved roads and 0% dirt and gravel roads. While you are at it, also check the density of roads per 100 square kilometers.

I'll repeat what I suggested earlier, as buses and automobile travel speeds increased, while trains and interurbans did not, buses and automobiles became more competitive. Only in a few cities in America was highway and road congestion so heavy that trains remained competitive, and even then the trains require massive subsidies to keep fares low.
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